Wednesday, October 21, 2009

emma and gato

My first 'baby' was Pavlov, born Feb 12, 1992. She was the epitome of a love cat. I called her my puppy dog cat. She was born under my mother's bed, and I raised her from birth on. I loved all six of those kittens born that day, but because there were six , we could not keep them at the house. The day they were taken off to live in my grandmother's abandoned house, I was told I could pick one to stay with me. It all happened very quickly, a la Sophie's Choice, "you must choose one!". I don't know why I picked her over Harley or Duncan, I guess it came down to the name. Pavlov. I always wanted a pet named Pavlov and I guess she got lucky to not be born with any distinct markings like Tippy or Pinky. She was all gray with green eyes. She looked like a Russian Blue, but was simply a street cat. She followed me all over the house, yet was able to be on her own. During those lovely high school years, she was my only friend and witness. She would cry when I cried and lick away my tears. She would scratch at the covers to get inside and sleep with me all snuggled up. She was the best. She was, however, not a cat that adjusted well to different environments. She was quite comfortable with her life on Cimmeron Dr. I knew when moving to NY that I would not be able to take her. She was frail and skittish and would simply never adjust to a home outside of Tampa. It broke my heart but I knew she would be happy and well taken care. My parents were, after all, the next best thing to me.

So now I jump to almost 4 years ago when I found another cat on the street. I named her Moses because when I saw her come out of the dark street, she was a glowing white blob. Like Moses coming down from MT Sinai after seeing GOD. She was the opposite of Pavlov. So grumpy and placid, but I was immediately taken by her. I always joked how she was slightly suicidal and I felt as if I had given her a second chance. She was a jet setter and traveled well so I knew she would fill that empty spot and became my NY cat. I loved them both, they were my fur babies.

Shortly before Emma was born in September, Pavlov passed away at the ripe age of 16. When I was home in May for my baby shower, I just knew that Pavlov was holding on for me. I also knew it would most likely be our last time together. You always can tell when animals are saying goodbye. I looked in her eyes and thanked her for all those years of love and loyalty, and let her know that I was ok with her leaving. It was if she knew I was pregnant and wanted to see me to the end. I don't know the exact day she died or time, just that it was at home and she was at peace and had a huge meal that morning. My mom didn't tell me right away because she didn't want to 'stress' me out as I was about to give birth and had a "gestational hypertension" With emma being in the NICU for a few days, my mom decided to not tell me until thanksgiving, 2 months later...I guess I knew deep down she was gone and they were keeping it from me, yet I had some small bit of hope that Emma would get to meet Pavlov.

Momo passed away in July. It was something that was coming, with her bad toe, kidney disease and being at least 14 years old, but it was still a shock and a loss. When she finally went away, I was there, I witnessed it, I wrapped her in her favorite blanket and prayed that god would take her quickly. She was gasping for air and getting colder by the minute. I buried her under my grapefruit tree and like the idea that she is now nourishing my tree. My girls, they would not get to grow along with emma...i had always dreamed of all my girls playing together. After the sudden loss of our other cat, Cambers, the house was just empty. I knew emma needed a playmate. She loves animals and squeals with delight when she comes across a wha wha or a meow meow.

We finally went to the ASPCA last weekend in the search for our cat. Not mine, not Anthony's but our cat. A jammes-finney cat . I knew I wanted a girl and I preferred a kitten. However looking at sites and how older cats need love just as much I knew i couldn't exclude them. We went from room to room and each cat was cute but not right. When we finally found one we liked, his paper work said that he was not be adopted to a family with children under the age of 13. In fact of lot of them were not to be adopted to a family with a baby. While others had laundry lists of health problems or uber $$ diets, we were starting to feel slightly defeated. If we saw a kitten, it was taken. Then there was Momo 2.0, taken...We had our eye on one cat but her room was busy as they fed and medicated them. While we wait to see that cat we are in another room where most cats have those pesky life long health problems, yet there is one who goes almost unnoticed. His name is Kyle. He is stripped and seems tame. We agree to see him, but he does not want to come out of his cage. With Emma taking all the keys out of the locks of each cage, I have little interest in getting to know him, so we move to see the girl cat, only to realize she isn't the one. We go back to look at "kyle" and when we walk in he makes eye contact with us. It was a bit eerie, as if he knew. As if he remembered us and was telling us " it is just you and me". I read his little label and saw he had a heart murmur when he was brought it but it had gone away and the vet felt there would be no other cause for concern. I felt a Emma had found her kindred feline companion. A fellow heart murmurer...(is that even a word?) So he came home with us that night and it took him no more than two minutes to make himself at home.

He and Emma are so cute together. They are buddies, he follows her, she follows him. She calls him gato and smacks her lip to call him. She knows the purple feathered whip-like toy is his and just how to get him to play with her. They snuggle at times and he likes to sit next to her as she bathes. He even tolerates her splashing him in the face. It is amazing how we really did just find each other. He was meant to be our cat. He is wonderful with her, at time he goes Sybil on us, but overall, he is just what i wanted for her and our family. he is a love cat. he is not a kitten or a girl, but somehow that doesn't matter when you see how much joy he brings to our apartment. There will never be another Pavlov or Moses, but Im quite sure in 20 years I will be saying that there will never be another Vincent.

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